Lunchbox Favorites: Remembering the Treats That Thrilled Me As a Kid

updated Sep 30, 2020
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Remember back when things were simple? When you’d wake up in the morning and happily put on clothes that were picked out for you, even if they were pale yellow pants with a drawstring? When, on your way out the door, you’d grab your tin Voltron lunch box and know what was inside it without even looking? (Mine was peanut butter with strawberry jelly sandwich, edges trimmed, and a granny smith apple.) For some reason or another I’m thinking back to those yesteryears of childhood, and trying to remember what is was I loved most.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

First up in the childhood food rewind is these…

I had a friend named Jim whose father worked at Little Debbie. I still remember walking into his kitchen pantry while we browsed for snacks, then suddenly hearing music play as I saw Little Debbie snacks literally packed wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling. Oatmeal cream pies? Row 3. Those chocolate covered rice crisp bars, Row 2, bottom right. These nutty bars? Row 4.

Speaking of Little Debbie, remember these?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

I’d take a package of those along with an oatmeal cream pie for starters. No wonder Jim had so many friends.

You know what else I ate as a kid? Kid Cuisine, of course. (Don’t act like you didn’t, and don’t act like the penguin character wasn’t your favorite either.)

I usually ate my dessert first, especially the cherry crumble.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

You know what else was decent? That brownie. Try making this variation and then see if you can remember if that penguin wore a hat or not.

(Image credit: Sarah Rae Smith)

As a growing boy, I was often hungry. Unfortunately, my culinary prowess was capped out at one part peanut butter, one part jelly. Fortunately, though, that’s all I really needed.

(Image credit: Dana Velden)

Eventually I got more adventurous, graduating to grilled cheese on the skillet. This my friends could truly be the start of all of my culinary exploration.

What favorite childhood treats do you remember? Have any adult recipes that can help you relive those golden years?

(Images: 1. Etsy user NostalgiaMama; others as linked)